The Chicago Bulls were in the market for an upgrade at the two-guard, and were in negotiations with teams leading up to the Trade Deadline, which ended today at 2:00PM C.S.T.
But the Bulls stood pat, refusing to move the player assets they have in Omer Asik and Taj Gibson.
The Bulls tried to move multiple picks for several wing threats but it was to no avail. Most of the teams they tried to deal with simply didn't want just picks -- they wanted Asik or Gibson, something the Bulls just weren't going to do.
The Options: At 38-17, the Bulls aren't anywhere close to panic mode. Most fans
expected -- even wanted -- the Bulls to make a splash and upgrade the
shooting guard position. The options came down to two players
specifically: Houston Rockets' Courtney Lee and Cleveland Cavaliers'
The Rockets reportedly wanted Asik in any type of deal where they would send Lee, and according to the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson,
one variation of the deal was Asik and Keith Bogans for Lee and Brad
Miller. Frankly, who blames the Bulls for not turning that deal down.
Lee would have been an upgrade over any of the Bulls' current options at shooting guard (Bogans, Ronnie Brewer, and Kyle Korver), but the Bulls are very high on Asik, and there's no chance they would give him up when the only big they get back is Miller.
Parker, who also received interest from the Boston Celtics, was the player who seemed like the most likely to come to Chicago, since his price tag would probably be a draft pick. However, he stayed in Cleveland, as the Cavaliers couldn't find a suitor for the veteran guard despite shopping him for weeks.
J.R. Smith and O.J. Mayo were rumored to go to the Dallas Mavericks and Indiana Pacers, respectively, but a deal was not made. Mayo was close to going to Indiana for Josh McRoberts and a first-round pick.
The Bulls certainly could have matched Indiana's offer with Gibson/Asik and a first-rounder of their own, but ultimately, Mayo wasn't the guard they wanted. Mayo needs the ball in his hands to be effective, which wouldn't suit well when the Bulls already have Derrick Rose to control the ball 75-80% of the time.
The Bulls had a few options at the Deadline, but nothing was done because of the Bulls' reluctance to part with Asik or Gibson. Can you blame them?
Where to go from here: With $2.9 million available for the Bulls after trading James Johnson to the Toronto Raptors for a draft pick, the Bulls still an option: signing a player who's bought out or waived by another team.
One player who was close to being dealt to the Cavaliers before the Deadline is Richard Hamilton. There's still a slim chance that he could be bought out by the Detroit Pistons and the Bulls are one of the teams who would line up to pick him up.
The Bulls didn't make a trade at the Deadline, but there's still an option for them to pick up what they need.
Around the NBA: The Bulls might have stood pat at the Deadline, but there were several deals -- big and small -- around the NBA.
L.A. Clippers send Baron Davis and a 2011 first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon: The trade, on paper, benefits both teams. The Cavaliers got rid of Baron Davis' big contract, and got two solid players to continue to develop their core.
While the Cavaliers will get the draft pick they desire to get their rebuilding process started. They will have to take on Davis' contract, but they will have two lottery picks in the upcoming draft -- their own and the Clippers'.
Houston Rockets send Shane Battier to the Memphis Grizzlies for Hasheem Thabeet and a first-round pick: Thabeet, who was the second overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, has fallen out of favor in Memphis, and the Grizzlies found a way to get rid of him for a player that will help them stay in playoff contention this season.
The Rockets have wanted a big man via trade, and they tried to get Asik from the Bulls, but after that went south, getting Thabeet was their fall back plan. Thabeet has been a bust in his two seasons in the NBA and it will be interesting to see where his NBA career goes from here.
With Rudy Gay out for a few weeks, Battier will not only give Memphis a solid replacement, but he's a veteran and a winner. The Grizzlies' playoff chances just got much better.
Rockets trade Aaron Brooks to the Phoenix Suns for Goran Dragic and a first-round pick: Brooks was the Most Improved Player last season, but he's had a regression this season. Still, the Suns got a very good end of this deal.
Brooks, 26, will give the Suns a replacement for Steve Nash and another playmaker from the point guard position. Dragic had a bright moment against the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs last season, but hasn't built off of it.
Love this deal for Phoenix -- they upgrade at backup point guard, and have a potential replacement for Nash, too.
Charlotte Bobcats send Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trail Blazers for Joel Pryzbilla, Dante Cunningham, and two first round picks: The Trail Blazers get a shot in the arm for the playoff run, while the Bobcats get Pryzbilla's expiring contract along with two first round picks.
The Blazers aren't contenders, but they will likely get their shot in the playoffs.They had to pay a steep price for Wallace, who will give the Blazers a legitimate offensive threat from the small forward position.
Good deal for both sides. MJ finally comes through.
Boston Celtics send Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Kristic: This trade was a bit puzzling. Perkins is a playoff tested big man, and Green is very young and supposedly part of the Thunder's core.
The Thunder will upgrade at center with Perkins on board and will be able to match up very well with the L.A. Lakers' size up front.
Robinson has been buried on the Celtics' bench because of Rajon Rondo, so his loss won't be major at all for the Celtics.
Perkins, who's dealing with an MCL sprain in his knee, was a major factor for the Celtics but his health has been a concern. Pure speculation here, but it could certainly be possible that the Celtics know something about Perkins' health that they're not letting out.
The majority of people think that Boston lost this trade; why? Perkins isn't Dwight Howard. He's a solid big man but he's not a player who'll jeopardize the Celtics' chances for a title.
The Celtics got a young talent in Green who can potentially be part of the core post-KG/Allen/Pierce. This trade is a win for the Celtics now and future.
Final thoughts: The Bulls didn't make the upgrade at two-guard that most fans expected, but it was more a byproduct of the trade demands of the other teams.
All hope is not lost; the Bulls are 21 games over .500. Even without an upgrade at shooting guard the Bulls still have the personnel to contend come playoff time. But it would have been a lot easier with a guy like Lee on board.